A Guide to the Different Methods of Cannabis Consumption

Whether you’re a curious first-timer or a long-time enthusiast, you’ve probably seen the endless ways cannabis can be consumed. From pre-rolls to edibles, cannabis has evolved beyond the days of sloppily rolled joints and mysterious brownies. But the wide array of cannabis products can be overwhelming, especially to the uninitiated.

Fear not, gentle readers. Today we’re here to break down the different methods of cannabis consumption, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to your flowery friends. Through our post, you’ll develop a better understanding of all the available options. From edibles to topicals, thanks to us, you’ll finally be armed with the knowledge to make smart decisions on your bud-buying road trips. So hold tight, we’re about to embark upon an adventure of the highest caliber.

Quick Breakdown

Cannabis can be consumed in several ways, including inhalation (smoking or vaporization), ingestion (edibles or capsules), topical application, and sublingual absorption. Each method of consume comes with its own dosage guidelines and effects, so it is important to learn about these methods before trying them.

Cannabis Smoking Methods

Cannabis smoking methods are an incredibly popular way to consume the plant due to their quick-acting and potent effects. The most common type of cannabis smoking is combustion, which is when a person inhales the smoke that is produced by the burning of marijuana flower, also known as bud, or concentrate. Combusting flower has a distinct taste and provides users with an array of psychoactive effects.

Smoking and vaporizing cannabis can also be done using certain types of devices and accessories, such as pipes, bongs, dab rigs, rolling papers, vaporizers, cones, one-hitters and joints. They vary in shape but all perform the task of heating up the cannabis and cooling it down through water filtration for smoother draws.

The debate about whether smoking cannabis is healthy or not depends on what form it is in. Smoking marijuana flower has long been linked to different types of cancer due to carcinogenic chemicals that are released when smoked at high temperatures. Some studies even suggest that smoking marijuana at least five times per week can increase a person's risk for lung cancer. On the other hand, recent research has suggested that vaporizers tend to create less exposure to these potentially harmful substances due to the lower temperatures they extract THC from at (400-428 degrees); Furthermore, many believe that more cannabinoids are able to be retained when using a vaporizer due to their lower temperature extraction rates.

Overall, it is important to consider how you will be consuming your cannabis before making any decisions regarding consumption methods so that you can make an informed choice on what will work best for your needs. With this in mind, let’s move on to our next section dedicated to exploring smoking cannabis flower and rolled products.

  • According to a 2017 survey, smoking is the most popular method of cannabis consumption (76.7%).
  • Recent data from 2019 indicates that ingestion of edibles has become increasingly popular among adult consumers (12.2%).
  • A 2020 survey found that vaping or smokeless inhalation accounts for 11.3% of cannabis consumption in the United States.

Smoking Cannabis Flower

Smoking Cannabis Flower is the most common form of cannabis consumption, and is often a preferred method among experienced consumers. To smoke cannabis flower, one must simply combust the material and inhale the resulting smoke. This process can be done through a variety of systems, devices, and tools. Depending on quantity or quality of cannabis consumed, smoking flower can offer an immediate and potent experience with effects that last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

When it comes to smoking cannabis flower, there are understandably two sides to the argument: those who support it, and those who oppose it. Those who support smoking flower cite that it’s a convenient and readily available way to consume the plant, as well as one of the most cost-effective methods due to its affordability in comparison to other forms of cannabis consumption. Those who oppose using this method typically cite health concerns such as respiratory irritation due to combustion and inhalation of smoke as well as potential short-term cognitive impairment, specifically when combined with other substances like alcohol or nicotine.

Despite pros and cons associated with smoking cannabis flower, this remains one of the most popular methods of consumption worldwide across all demographics—ultimately leading to more nuanced regulation and education around safety precautions. Transitioning away from the debates surrounding this form of cannabis consumption, let’s look into some commonly used cannabis smoking devices that offer an alternative approach aiming to minimize health risks while maximizing enjoyment and experience! In the following section we'll focus on “Using a Cannabis Smoking Device”.

Must-Know Points

Smoking cannabis flower is a very popular method of consumption worldwide, and while there are pros and cons associated with it, it remains one of the most common forms of use. In an effort to minimize potential health risks, we'll now focus on using cannabis smoking devices as an alternative that aims to maximize enjoyment and experience.

Using a Cannabis Smoking Device

Using a cannabis smoking device is one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis due to its convenience, affordability and accessibility. Smoking devices allow users to enjoy a reliable method of cannabis consumption with just a few steps. Cannabis smoking devices include items such as water pipes, joints, blunts, bubblers, one-hitters and more.

The argument for using a smoking device can be found in its convenience and reliability. These devices are designed to make the marijuana smoking process more efficient, providing an even burning experience for the user. Moreover, these devices come in various sizes, colors, materials and designs so the user has access to options that best accommodates personal preferences and needs.

On the other hand, there are potential negative side-effects associated with smoking cannabis with a device. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory issues such as chest congestion and asthmatic symptoms. In addition, combustion during smoke inhalation has been linked to the emergence of carcinogens like tar which can damage lungs upon long-term use of cannabis smoking devices.

For those looking for an efficient way to consume cannabis without any commitment or concerns about carcinogens, using a cannabis smoking device may not be the ideal choice. The next section looks into another popular method of consuming cannabis: ingestion of cannabis products.

Ingestion of Cannabis

Ingestion of cannabis is an increasingly popular method for consumption of the drug. This process involves ingesting medically prescribed capsules and edibles high in CBD (cannabidiol) and/or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and help manage depression, anxiety, and other medical conditions.

The use of ingested cannabis has been controversial due to concerns over its short-term effects. For example, there are reports that ingesting cannabis could lead to increased anxiety or even paranoia. Furthermore, the long-term effects of ingestion are still unclear, as there is not yet sufficient evidence to support definitive conclusions on the matter. Nevertheless, there is ample anecdotal evidence supporting beneficial short-term effects, including improved moods and decreased pain levels.

In addition to this information, researchers have also found minimal side effects in those who partake in cannabis ingestion versus smoking it or vaporizing it. While each method carries its own potential risks, ingestion provides one of the safest ways to consume recreational or medicinal marijuana without any smoke entering the respiratory system. As such, many people view ingestion as a safe and effective means of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.

An often overlooked but important aspect to consider about ingestion is absorption rate; whereas smoked marijuana can take effect almost immediately due to inhalation into the bloodstream, ingested cannabis takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for the peak effects to become apparent. This slower absorption rate might affect how users choose to consume their dose.

The debate over ingestion of cannabis will continue until more studies are conducted on both its short-term and long-term effects. In the meantime, it remains a viable option for marijuana users seeking relief from various symptoms while avoiding some of the health risks associated with other methods of consumption. Looking ahead, the next section will explore eating edibles – another popular way to experience the effects of cannabis without inhaling smoke or vapour.

Eating Edibles

Eating edibles is a popular form of cannabis consumption where food items are infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Edibles come in various forms, including baked goods like brownies, chocolates, gummy bears, and cookies. They can also be added to food items such as sauces and dressings to create marijuana-infused dishes.

Taking edible cannabis products instead of smoking or vaping has its pros and cons. One major plus side is that edibles take longer to kick in and produce effects that can last for several hours. Eating edibles gives users the option of having an intense physiological experience or reducing anxiety because they can be able to control the amount they ingest by selecting smaller doses. Furthermore, there is no smoke involved which makes them appealing to users who don’t want to inhale any tar or other toxins found in cannabis flowers burned through smoking or vaporizing.

On the other hand, consuming edibles does have some drawbacks. Depending on how your body processes ingested THC, it could take up to 4-6 hours before you notice any effects from eating edibles. As a result, users might be tempted to take larger doses than normally recommended or double up on their dosage at once if they feel like nothing is happening fast enough. This can lead to getting too high with negative effects ranging from paranoia to feelings of uneasiness. Additionally, contrary to what most people think, if stored improperly after cooking, edibles can have a short shelf life and spoil quickly if not kept chilled or refrigerated due to heat and humidity levels.

To sum up, when it comes to enjoying an edible cannabis product, it’s important to always take safety precautions and follow necessary guidelines in terms of portion sizes before you try an edible cannabis product for yourself. With this in mind, let us move on to the next section where we examine taking cannabis pills as a form of cannabis consumption.

Taking Cannabis Pills

Taking cannabis pills is one of the most common methods of cannabis consumption. Pills are typically made up of isolated cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids come in different combinations and doses, allowing for more tailored results. Pills are especially effective for those who need controlled dosages, want to avoid smoking, or want to mask the taste of marijuana.

The effects can be slow but intense once they finally kick in. For this reason, users should exercise caution and never take more than the recommended dosage, as it could quickly become overwhelming. With that said, taking pills is surprisingly safe and much healthier than smoking cannabis due to the lack of harmful combustion byproducts. Furthermore, you’ll experience a clear-headed high compared to what you might get from smoking or vaping cannabis flower or concentrate.

Overall, taking cannabis pills offers patients an excellent way to medicate while avoiding inhaling smoke into their lungs and getting long-lasting relief without having to take multiple doses throughout the day. On the other hand, some argue that taking pills causes too much delay between dosage and effects. Additionally, the effects have been reported to not last as long compared to other methods of marijuana consumption.

No matter what your preference is when it comes to cannabis consumption, it's important to understand all the available options so that you can make an informed decision on which method best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Next up in our guide is inhalation of cannabis; from smoking and vaping flower or concentrate, to using a dab rig or an edibles-maker device. We will discuss how these methods provide fast results without any extra additives like one might find in tablets and tonics.

Inhalation of Cannabis

The traditional method of cannabis consumption is by inhalation. Inhaling can be achieved through smoking or vaporizing dried flower, oil cartridges filled with concentrate, or wax.

Smoking cannabis has been widely used as a method of consumption since the 1970s. It involves burning the dried flower and inhaling the smoke released by the plant matter. Many feel that this is more cost-effective and direct than other methods, giving you the effects almost instantly. However, the combustion of plant material releases carcinogens which can cause damage to your respiratory system and make it difficult for some people to consume. Additionally, the smell of cannabis smoke can sometimes be unpleasant and lingering.

Vaporization is an often preferred option for those looking to avoid some of these negative effects associated with smoking. Vaping breaks down cannabis enough to extract its essence without bringing it to combustion point. This leaves most of the plant’s compounds—including cannabinoids like THC and CBD — in tact. As long as they are vaped using temperatures below what would cause combustion, much fewer toxic chemicals are released than when smoked. The smell emanating from vaping is also significantly less intense compared to smoking and dissipates faster too.

Now that we've discussed two different methods of inhalation with their respective pros and cons, let’s move on to discussing vaporizing cannabis in detail in the next section.


Vaporizing is one of the most common and popular methods of consuming cannabis. It typically requires a vaporizer, which, depending on the type, is designed to heat up either a concentrated form or strains of dry cannabis flower. This process allows for cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG and other beneficial compounds in the plant to be activated, producing an inhalable vapor that can be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs.

The debate around vaping cannabis centers on safety. Supporters argue that vaporizing is safer than smoking because it doesn’t involve burning plant material and therefore reduces the risk of inhaling harmful toxins and carcinogens compared to combustible smoking methods. Opponents argue that although vaping may be safer than smoking, there are still various health risks associated with it due to the fact that many components used in vaporizers contain chemicals that may be hazardous to human health upon inhalation. Ultimately, much more research is needed to determine exactly how safe vaping cannabis really is when compared to smoking it.

As one of the most common and accessible methods of consumption available today, cannabis vaporization offers an efficient and discrete way for consumers to get their daily dose of cannabinoids and terpenes. As we turn our attention to topical cannabis consumption—another method for activating these beneficial compounds through topical means—it's important for consumers and healthcare providers alike to understand the nuances between both forms of application.

Topical Cannabis Consumption

Topical cannabis consumption is a form of cannabis use that entails the application of cannabis-infused creams and ointments to the body. The cannabinoids in topical cannabis are absorbed through the skin, leaving users with localized relief and minimal psychoactive effects. This method of consumption has been used for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt and China.

The primary benefit to topical cannabis use is that users are able to obtain localized relief that is free from any psychoactive effects. For those who suffer from pain and inflammation but do not wish to experience any changes in cognition, this can be an excellent choice. Topical products also allow users to fine-tune their dosage more quickly and easily than if they were consuming edibles or smoking flower, both of which have substantially more psychoactive effects regardless of the amount taken.

However, there has been some controversy surrounding the efficacy of topical cannabis consumption. While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence supporting its benefits, there is limited scientific evidence due to restrictions on marijuana research. Since cannabinoids are lipophilic (fat-soluble) rather than water-soluble, they need medical transdermal patches in order for systemic absorption to occur, thus making topical products somewhat limited as far as their ability to deliver systemic relief throughout a user’s body. As such, topical cannabis may only offer localized relief.

Despite this debate, many individuals have found success through topical cannabis use and swear by it as an effective means of relief. Regardless of one’s stance on this topic, it cannot be denied that topical cannabis products offer a unique and potentially beneficial way for individuals to consume marijuana without experiencing any altered state of consciousness. To learn more about making your own at home, read on to our next section: Making a Cannabis Topical Cream.

Making a Cannabis Topical Cream

Making a cannabis topical cream is becoming an increasingly popular method of consuming cannabis. Using a topical cream can provide localized relief to physical ailments, such as muscle pain or joint stiffness, without the psychoactive effects of using other forms of cannabis. The use of cannabis topicals has been around for centuries, with its most popular form being that of a balm or salve.

Besides relieving physical ailments, topical cannabis creams are also said to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which could potentially benefit skin and scalp health. Cannabis topicals come in many different forms such as lotions, creams, bath salts, sprays and even lip balms.

When making your own cannabis topical cream at home it is important to understand both the benefits and potential risks involved. For example, applying the cream directly to the skin will not get you high, but if any large amount of the cream is accidentally ingested it could cause significant psychoactive effects.

Also keep in mind that creating a topical cannabis cream involves infusing and mixing together whatever carrier oils you wish to use with decarboxylated weed trimmings or ground flower using heat. This process can be dangerous if done incorrectly and always requires supervision when dealing with open flames. Therefore, it is important to research each step thoroughly before attempting to make a homemade cannabis topical cream.

Overall, making a cannabis topical cream can be an effective and safe way to receive localized physical relief without the risk of experiencing psychoactive effects if made correctly and all safety precautions are taken into account. Now let's move on to discuss other methods for cannabis consumption.

Other Methods for Cannabis Consumption

Cannabis consumption goes beyond just smoking and eating edibles. There are a variety of other methods that can be used to consume cannabis, some with more convenience, health benefits, or potential risks than others. Below we will outline the various other methods of consuming cannabis and discuss their pros and cons.

Vaporizing is one of the most popular alternative methods for cannabis consumption for its various advantages. Vaporizers heat the cannabis to its desired temperature without combustion, so that vapor is produced instead. This method limits inhalation of any harmful chemical compounds as smoke is avoided altogether. Additionally, many vaporizers give users a certain level of control over temperatures and allow for multiple uses. The disadvantage of this method is the cost; purchasing a good quality vaporizer can be expensive.

Tinctures are another effective way to consume cannabis that involves the extraction of THC from flower buds or leaves into liquid alcohol or oil. The tincture then becomes applied via droplet under the tongue or added to foods and beverages as desired. This method allows users to avoid inhaling any smoke or vapor while still feeling the effects of marijuana in a timely manner. Another benefit includes amount control due to being able to accurately measure dosage through droppers and syringes, making it easy for first-time users to gauge their ideal dosage. On the negative side, it is difficult to find pre-made tinctures locally as they must be made at home with specific ingredients and tools available only online or at specific retail stores, thus making them unavailable in many locations.

Lastly, topical applications of cannabis are also an effective yet rather unconventional method for consuming marijuana. Cannabis-infused lotions and oils are available on the market today as products designed for treating skin conditions such as pain relief, inflammation, etc. These lotions do not generate a psychoactive effect unless applied in high doses which saturate through layers of skin then enter into the bloodstream where it affects receptors in different parts of the body. This carries fewer risks than inhaling or ingesting marijuana but fails to deliver quick results like those methods would provide.

Although these methods carry pros and cons depending on user preferences, there are numerous options for safe consumption of cannabis beyond smoking and edibles. Moving forward we will look further into an increasingly popular method – that of cannabis oil – examining its potential benefits and risks including more information on recreational use versus medical applications so readers may make an informed decisions while considering purchasing and using cannabis oil themselves.

The Role of Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil has become increasingly popular among cannabis users due to its purported health benefits and potential for precise dosing, as it can contain a higher concentration of cannabinoids than other methods of administration. Many people who also wish to avoid smoking or vaping opt for consuming cannabis oil, which is available in capsules or edibles that vary from sour gummies and chocolate bars to topical creams, tinctures, and sublingual drops.

Due to the lack of reliable studies on the verified effects of cannabis, there is an ongoing debate surrounding the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products, including cannabis oil. Proponents of cannabis-based oils argue that they can reduce nausea, stimulate appetite and reduce chronic pain, while others view them as having no medically proven benefits. There is also some evidence that a few of these products may cause mild psychoactive effects due to their THC content.

Previous studies suggest that cannabinoid-rich oils could be beneficial in treating certain medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, anxiety and depression. While further clinically researched studies are needed to conclusively determine any therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis-based products, more research is being conducted all around the world to distinguish between the facts and myths about their potential medicinal value.

Having outlined the potential benefits and risks associated with consuming cannabis oil, let us turn our attention away from this particular method of consumption and examine two other popular forms: Cannabis Tinctures & Infusing Cannabis into Vegetables & Food.

Cannabis Tinctures & Infusing Cannabis into Vegetables & Food

Cannabis tinctures and infusions into food offer an alternative way to consume cannabis that has grown in popularity. Cannabis tinctures are liquid-based cannabis products dissolved in either shared or alcohol which can be taken orally, sublingually, or topically as a solution. Tinctures can also be added to foods for ingestion and paired with other herbs for added flavor.

Infusing cannabis into food provides users with a variety of options from edible chocolate bars to cannabis-infused butter used in cooking and baking applications. Although effective, many argue that the potency is not accurately measured when it comes to edibles, but there are reputable companies that do their best to properly dose these products for safe consumption.

On the opposite side of the argument, some argue that it may take several hours before feeling the effects of edibles and because of this, there is always the risk of overconsumption due to inaccurate dosing and timing. Furthermore, THC can be converted into a much more powerful form when cooked at high temperatures known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This potent version of THC can have experimental results on smaller doses then what is typically recommended. Therefore, some suggest erring on the side of caution when consuming THC through infusions.

It should be noted that no matter what method you choose to ingest cannabis, respect should always be given for its effects on each individual's body and mind.

When utilizing cannabis tinctures and infusing them into food or vegetables, research your local laws as this will usually require special permits that vary from locality to locality.

Before jumping into using concentrates & waxes for cannabis consumption, understanding how tinctures can be utilized and how edible infusions can played a role in consumption is key in taking full advantage of cannabis consumption methods. The following section will discuss concentrates & waxes and their role in cannabis consumption.

Concentrates & Wax

Concentrates and WAX

Concentrates and wax are some of the most potent forms of cannabis for consumption. They’re typically made from the resin extracted from the marijuana plant, which is then heated and dissolved in a liquid to create a concentrated form that contains higher levels of THC than the flowers alone. Concentrates and wax can be consumed using dabbing kits, vaporizers, or by using special methods like “joints” or “bongs” filled with concentrate.

The pros of concentrates and wax include their potency and flavor. Concentrates have a high concentration of cannabinoids – such as THC – allowing users to experience a much more intense psychoactive effect than they would by smoking or ingesting cannabis in its flower form. Additionally, concentrates offer an impressive range of flavors and aromas compared to flower bud; for instance, concentrates can be made with terpenes such as citrus, berry, peppermint, cinnamon, pine and more.

However, there are also some cons associated with using concentrates and wax. Consuming concentrates in this way can be quite dangerous if done improperly. Inhaling too much concentrated cannabis smoke or vapor can cause serious adverse effects such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and even hallucinations. Additionally, some health experts suggest that combustion is necessary to release toxins within cannabis smoke or vapor; inhaling these toxins could be potentially hazardous to one’s long-term health.

Overall, while users should exercise caution when consuming marijuana concentrates, it is an effective and efficient way to enjoy the effects of cannabis in an intensified form with unique flavors and aromas. By understanding how ingredients interact, learning responsible usage techniques, and practicing moderation when consuming cannabis concentrates will help ensure everyone enjoys them safely.

Common Questions Explained

What preparation is involved with each type of cannabis consumption?

The preparation involved with each type of cannabis consumption will vary depending on the specific method and the individual user’s preferences. For example, smoking cannabis typically involves grinding the flower into smaller particles or filling a pipe or bong with pre-ground bud. Vaping usually requires purchasing an appropriate device, such as a dry herb vaporizer for loose leaf or wax pen for concentrates, before packing a chamber with material and setting the desired temperature. Edibles may require decarboxylating the flower buds to activate the THC in order to achieve psychoactive effects. Meanwhile, sublingual methods like tinctures involve dropping rather concentrated liquid under the tongue. Ultimately, it is important to understand all relevant preparations involved with each cannabis consumption method prior to use in order to ensure safe and enjoyable experience.

Are there any safe methods of cannabis consumption?

Yes, there are safe methods of cannabis consumption. The most important factor in determining the safety of any cannabis consumption method is one's own health. There are several methods designed to minimize exposure to toxins and carcinogens while still achieving desired effects. These include vaporizing, consuming edibles, or utilizing topical balms and oils.

Vaporizing is a very popular and relatively safe delivery system as it heats the active components of cannabis quickly and efficiently, while not exposing users to many of the toxins associated with inhalation of smoke. Edibles offer an even lower risk alternative, as they are metabolized by the gastrointestinal tract rather than the lungs, greatly reducing the risk of respiratory irritation or damage. Finally, topical balms and oils provide localized relief without introducing cannabinoids into the bloodstream.

It is important to do your research on each method of consumption to make sure you are using it safely and responsibly. Additionally, make sure you are working with a trustworthy source to purchase your cannabis products from.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of each cannabis consumption method?


Benefits: Smoking cannabis is one of the more popular methods of consuming cannabis, as it allows for fast onset effects. It also gives you a lot of control over how much is consumed at a time.

Drawbacks: Smoking can be hard on your lungs and may be associated with respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and COPD.


Benefits: Vaping cannabis oil is a great option if you want to avoid smoking. There is no combustion, so there's no smoke, carcinogens, or tar. Vaping also produces more potent flavors than smoking, and it's less harsh on the throat and lungs.

Drawbacks: Vaping cannabis oil can be expensive since it requires specialized equipment and can only be consumed in small amounts at a time. It also doesn't offer the same high potency experience that smoking does.

Edibles & Tinctures:

Benefits: Edibles & tinctures offer a convenient and discreet option to consume cannabis with few adverse effects on your lungs or throat. The effects are long-lasting compared to other methods and they can be crafted in many different flavors or taken as pills or drops under the tongue.

Drawbacks: Edibles & tinctures may take longer to kick in than other forms of consumption and it's easier to accidentally consume too much at once due to delayed onset of effects. Additionally, edibles & tinctures are not legal everywhere yet so access may be limited in certain areas.